Since 50 percent of adults experience back pain annually, acupuncturists receive numerous patients to their medical practices seeking treatment. This alternative treatment may help some patients avoid becoming one of the 916,000 people who receive spinal surgery each year. Specialists have practiced this form of treatment for nearly 2,000 years, and it has been deemed effective as one of the most holistic systems of medicine. Almost 15 million visits are made to acupuncturists annually.
Studies Show Positive Effects of Treatment on Back Pain
Studies have shown positive results that this ancient Chinese treatment can relieve people who have chronic back pain. This was found after studying 638 men and women with chronic lower back pain. Patients received benefits from the treatments whether the needle was inserted into the skin, or the skin was superficially pricked.
What Types of Back Pain Can Be Treated with This Treatment
Sprains are a common cause of back pain. Many patients seek the help of an acupuncturist after they experience poor posture, improper lifting, sprains, and other injuries. A herniated disc may also be another source of pain if the disc is displaced and bulges in the back.
Many patients suffering from sciatica will visit an acupuncturist to relieve the pain that often extends down the leg and into the buttocks. The pain originates with the sciatic nerve. The nerve may be affected if the person has a herniated disc, strain, or sprain.
How Acupuncturists and Chinese Medicine Classifies Back Pain
Deficiency Type Pain: Pain from deficiency is typically dull. The chronic pain will generally improve if the patient gets adequate rest. This type of pain is common in elderly and middle-aged people.
Qi And Blood Stagnation: Stagnation pain is much more severe than deficiency pain. This type of pain is made worse by rest. The muscles are stiff and tight. Since the pain is recurrent and chronic, a deficiency may also occur.
Cold Damp Obstruction Pain: The weather exacerbates this type of pain. When the weather is cold and damp, the pain becomes worse. The pain may also be worse in the morning. If patients experience these symptoms, numbness, swelling, and improvement with heat, then it may be cold, damp obstruction.
The Purpose of Acupuncture and How It Works
Needles are placed at the site of pain and away from the pain to help resolve the problem. When treating acute pain, it is essential to administer distal, which means away from the pain, needles. Electric stimulation points and cupping may be used to help alleviate the pain. Herbs may also be used to move the blood and reduce inflammation.
According to a Swedish hospital study, doctors concluded that acupuncture provided long-term pain relief. These patients had improved activity levels and better sleep patterns.
How to Select a Qualified Specialist
Acupuncturists who are qualified will have accumulated over 3000 hours of education relating to acupuncture and Chinese medicine education. Adequate training requires between three and four years. Although this is the requirement, there are more than 50 percent of acupuncturists that only have 300 hours or less of acupuncture training. Select an acupuncturist who meets the qualifications and is recommended.